Chelsie Nixon, O’More fashion design and fashion merchandising in Nashville, TN, Eastman NaiaTM Design Challenge.


Sophomore Chelsie Nixon (above) creating a muslin mock-up for her Naia™ design. Photo: Christian Hall

By JAMIE ATLAS, Chair of Fashion, O’More College of Design


After weeks of planning, the process of garment construction is well underway in the Eastman NaiaTM Design Challenge at O’More College of Design.

Students in O’More’s nationally ranked Fashion Design program are creating fashion-forward garments using fabric composed of NaiaTM, a cellulosic yarn made from wood pulp and derived exclusively from sustainably managed and certified forests. The opportunity to work with cutting-edge fabric has been a source of inspiration for the up-and-coming designers.



Photo: Christian Hall

“I was inspired by the sustainable nature of NaiaTM fabric,” said Zoe Brown (above). “My customer cares about the environment and sustainable practices. She also enjoys high-quality fabrics that are easy to care for. She prefers pieces that are multi-functional so she can dress them up or down, allowing for a more versatile wardrobe. I’m able to fulfill all of those needs with NaiaTM. Other students have been impressed with the versatility of different NaiaTM fabrics.



Photo: Ed Atlas

Artissa Claybrooks (above) has achieved excellent results by working with a lighter-weight fabric. “The weight of the fabric was a bit light for my design so I layered it to make it heavier,” said Claybrooks. “After doubling the fabric and using itself as a lining, it worked perfectly. I did not have to change direction or make any adjustments to my design.”


Students also noted that when it comes to utility, NaiaTM -based fabrics are easy to work with. “I was drawn immediately to some of the capabilities the fabric possessed,” says junior Morgan Stengel (below). “It draped extremely well and it had a sense of luxury to it, which I was so excited about because my vision for my design was very soft and dreamlike. The intricate design of the knit pattern was so unique that it made me excited to start working with it.”

Photo: Ed Atlas


“The fabric cuts beautifully and the texture of the crepe knit and bubble jacquard are fabulous,” says Amanda McKenzie (below). “The way that the fabric drapes and its weight are two things that are imperative to the fit of my garment. It looks great draped on the dress form.”


The Eastman NaiaTM Design Challenge is a collaborative effort between Franklin’s O’More College of Design and Kingsport-based Eastman. The partnership promotes the application of NaiaTM – an environmentally friendly fiber – in original, ready-to-wear knit clothing.

Designs will be juried by Eastman representatives, O’More faculty and industry professionals, and showcased at the 2018 O’More College Fashion Show on May 10 at the Franklin Theatre in downtown Franklin. Students will be judged on versatility, comfort, innovative cuts, use of surprise elements with hardware, trims, and functional embellishments.

Introduced at the Interfilière Paris fair in January 2017, Naia™ is a poised, new reflection of a long-standing fiber that enables luxurious, comfortable and easy-to-care-for fabrics and garments.

This marks the second year that O’More has collaborated with Eastman, a Fortune 500 company, to promote the versatile and environmentally friendly fiber.

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